Thursday, June 2, 2016

Happy Fifth Blogiversary

This is post number 193 in five years of blogging. I do have more to share and will do my best to have at least a couple of posts each month.

During this past year, I completed a series of Surname Saturday posts where I shared the ancestral lines of my husband's family:

Handler (from Ljuba, Erdevik, Ilok, in former Hungary (then Yugoslavia, now Serbia))
Goldstein (from Iaşi, Romania)
Hollander (from Bonyhád, Hungary)
Levitas/Levitt (from Husiatyń, in former Galicia, Austria, now Ukraine)
Honenvald (from Hőgyész, Hungary)
Segal (from Shytomir/Zhytomyr, Ukraine)
Moskowitz (from Iaşi, Romania)

In the coming year I hope to share more about using DNA. I would like to use a chromosome browser to display how my husband and his parents are related to known cousins and then figure out how they are related to genetic cousins whose exact relationship is unknown. AncestryDNA doesn't have a chromosome browser, but FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch do. GEDmatch is free, but a transfer in of data is needed. It's very easy to transfer data from other DNA testing websites.

If I enough cousins have their DNA tested, I can explore Kitty Cooper's Chromosome Mapper tool, as displayed at Lara Diamond's Lara's Jewnealogy blog.

I also want to share some more of the many photographs that I have of this family.

And, of course, if there are any exciting new finds, I will be sure to share them.

Thank you to those of you who continue to read my blog even if I don't post very often.

Friday, May 20, 2016

USCIS C-File for Morris Goldstein ~ The Applications

When I last wrote about Morris Goldstein's C-File, I said that there was more work he had to do to obtain the replacement citizenship certificate that he wanted (and presumably needed).

The next documents are two applications with the same heading (see image) - one handwritten and another typed. There was a $10 fee for obtaining this replacement Certificate of Citizenship.


The handwritten application is dated 18th day of April 1931.


This is Morris Goldstein's signature and someone else's handwritten "Woodbine, N.J." which is in different handwriting than in the previous post (which was his wife's handwriting), so perhaps he dictated it to the notary public who notarized the application.

There is an undated letter from the Commissioner of Naturalization (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Naturalization) which states that the naturalization paper is being returned to "be amended and promptly returned to this office." Three months later, there is a typed application.

Monday, May 16, 2016

USCIS C-File for Morris Goldstein ~ His Letter to Washington, D.C.

I am sharing documents that I received as part of the USCIS C-File for Morris Goldstein, my husband's grandfather. I first shared a 1918 Certificate of Citizenship for a Rhode Island Morris Goldstein and the replacement 1931 Certificate for Pop-pop (as he was known to his grandchildren).

I have concluded that this file has combined two men of the same name, born within a few months of each other in 1897. One immigrated to Boston in August 1913 and the other to New York City in August 1914.

Additional documents in this file include the July 1918 petition for naturalization for Morris Goldstein of Central Falls, Rhode Island, where he states that he was born in Brest, Russia. His occupation was "Machinist." (This signature looks like "signature #1" in the previous post: Comparing Signatures.)

Pop-pop was a tailor and spent his entire working life in the garment industry in New York City and in Woodbine, New Jersey.

Letterhead from March 5, 1931 letter
The C-File file also includes most of the correspondence that Pop-pop had with government officials as he tried to get a replacement citizenship certificate. There is a March 5, 1931, letter from a Major General at the War Department letting him know that "No record has been found in this office of the naturalization papers of Morris Goldstein, Army Serial No. 4,489,126." (This serial number agrees with the abstract of his service that I shared in January 2014.) He is instructed to contact the Commissioner of Naturalization, Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

USCIS C-File for Morris Goldstein ~ Comparing Signatures

In the previous post about the USCIS Citizenship File for Morris Goldstein, I shared a 1918 Certificate of Naturalization for Morris Goldstein of Rhode Island and a 1931 replacement Certificate of Naturalization for Morris Goldstein of Woodbine, New Jersey.

Did you notice the additional difference of the signatures?

Signature from the 1918 Certificate of Naturalization for Morris Goldstein of Rhode Island

Signature from the 1918 World War I Draft Card for Morris Goldstein (Pop-pop) of Forsyth Street, Manhattan

Signature from the 1931 replacement Certificate of Naturalization for Morris Goldstein, now of Woodbine, New Jersey

I suggest that the third signature looks much more like the second one not the first one.

The next post in the series will show additional correspondence I received as part of this C-File: USCIS C-File for Morris Goldstein ~ His Letter to Washington, D.C.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

USCIS C-File for Morris Goldstein

About a year ago, I shared the Certificate of Citizenship for my husband's grandfather, Morris Goldstein. It was a re-issued certificate for one that had been lost. I was confused because there were several facts on this certificate that conflicted with what I already knew about Morris.

Emily Garber of (going) the Extra Yad asked if I had applied for Morris' file with the USCIS genealogy program. I decided this was a good idea and started the process a few weeks after that blog post.

A C-File is a Certificate File, which documents an individual's naturalization. C-Files contain copies of records that show the granting of naturalized U.S. citizenship by courts between 1906 and 1956.

The first place to go is USCIS / Genealogy.

I first requested an index search in case there was more than one file number. It turns out that the number on the Certificate of Citizenship was the one file number that was returned: 984234. It took a little over three months to get this.

A little more than four months after submitting the request for the C-File, I received the twelve photocopied pages in the mail. I scanned the images and did my best to transcribe them.

It confirmed for me that yes, this Morris Goldstein (known as Pop-pop to his grandchildren) was mixed up with another Morris Goldstein of Rhode Island.

Friday, April 8, 2016

One Jewish Family's DNA Ethnicity Results

I have previously written about AncestryDNA's ethnicity results for my husband here. Since then, I have transferred his DNA to FamilyTreeDNA which is how I connected with a fourth cousin (which I wrote about here.)

FamilyTreeDNA also offers ethnicity results. These come from doing an autosomal DNA test (as opposed to a Y-DNA test or a mitochondrial DNA test). An autosomal DNA test can help a genealogist find cousins, like the fourth cousin mentioned above. I'm not going to get into all the details of DNA testing, but if you're interested, you can read a blog post I wrote at my other blog, Autosomal DNA Testing with FamilyTreeDNA, and you can explore the FTDNA Learning Center.

I thought I'd share one example of why it's interesting and helpful to have both parents tested. (It's also interesting to have all siblings tested, which I have done in my family and you can see those results at From Maine to Kentucky.)

The following colorful images are from FamilyTreeDNA's MyOrigins feature, which shows estimates of an individual's ethnicity going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The key word here is estimate - this is really just a fun way to see where your distant ancestors came from.

Before my father-in-law died, I was able to get him to donate his DNA for the genealogical cause. This was interesting because he is about as Ashkenazi Jewish as you can get, at 99%:

Father's DNA

My mother-in-law's DNA is only 84% Ashkenazi Jewish with 12% Middle Eastern and 4% Western/Central European:

Mother's DNA

Not surprisingly, my husband has 92% Ashkenazi Jewish DNA from his father and his mother, but it's likely that his 5% Middle Eastern DNA and 3% European DNA came from his mother.

Son's DNA


Please remember that these are estimates, and are for fun. Because my in-laws' ancestors have been in this country for only one or two generations and Jewish family trees have a lot of endogamy (a lot of marrying within the same group of ancestors), there are tons of matches at FamilyTreeDNA for all three of these family members. Even though my father-in-law and my mother-in-law are not related (at least not within recent generations), they often show the same matches of others who have tested at FamilyTreeDNA and have a lot of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.

I thank my husband and his parents for scraping the insides of their cheeks for me and I am hoping that more family members will consider taking an autosomal DNA test because there is more to learn than our ethnic makeup. I hope to share more about DNA results in a future blog post.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wedding Wednesday ~ Anita and Harry

January 27, 1952, was the wedding day for my parents-in-law: the first day of over 64 years of a very happy marriage.


Harry died last month and I shared his obituary here.